10 Things You Should Know About Stretching

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Before fitness training, one must give importance to doing warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent accidents or to enhance the output during the training. There are also a number of precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing fitness exercises.

Here are some of them.

stretching

  1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch before and after workout. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries during the exercises, but only few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.

  2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body’s flexibility.

  3. Do not go into a stretching position then immediately return to the relaxed position, and do it repeatedly. This is more appropriately termed as bouncing while in a position. When stretching, hold that position for several seconds, and then slowly relax. You may do this exercise repeatedly this way. Bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles.

  4. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position.

  5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. For some people, even if they have strong bodies, they tend to neglect the neck when working out of stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one’s hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the sides and the back of the head.

  6. Stretch regularly to continually increase your range of movements and your level of flexibility and strength.

  7. Workout considering only your capabilities and not of others. Do not force yourself to do exercises that you are not yet capable of just because there are people who can do it. Increase your limits slowly. Listen to your body. There are days when your body may be too tired that you may have to consider reducing your range of motion.

  8. Learn to rest. Rest in between sets and stations to make sure that the body has enough time to recover its energy. Also, it is advisable that you don’t work the same muscle groups consecutively for two days. The muscles grow during the period when you rest and not when you are working out.

  9. Do aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart. Aerobic exercises are those physical activities that much oxygen for fuel. This includes cardiovascular exercises such as skipping rope, running or swimming.

  10. Music may help you when you want to train for longer periods or to increase your intensity. You can use mp3 players, CD players or lightweight am radio receivers for this. Just make sure that you brought your headset with you so you wouldn’t disturb people who don’t prefer music while exercising.

Apart from preventing injuries and increasing one’s limit, it is also said that stretching is good for a tired body and also for a stressed mind and spirit.

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Terrine Pearsall

Lifestyle Changes First Then Diet for Effective Health Management

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Due to the enormous amount of information about diet ubiquitous on the internet, people who yearn to lead healthy lives end up being confused as to which diet will help them achieve their goals – mostly weight management.

The pendulum of which “diet” works keeps swinging back and forth. People try adapting to different diets but only a few are lucky to find one that helps them to successfully manage their health.diet

Diet debate almost dying

The diet debate is almost extinct. Every now and then, people trying to reduce weight through dieting confess “cheating on their diets”. The major reason behind failing to keep up with a diet plan is that the plan is not parallel to the person’s lifestyle. Often, lifestyle is the best ally when it comes to eating and living healthy. A diet that goes well with your lifestyle is easy to maintain.

The realization that lifestyle comes before diet is triggered by the knowledge that the body is not a machine that efficiently produces output according to the input. Body systems are integrated in such a way that improvement of the whole depends on how well all the systems are coordinated. For example, a person desiring to reduce weight may take healthy food always but fail to handle emotional distress. According to research, stress leads to weight gain in some people. Having a lifestyle that supports the well-being of the entire body is the only way to achieve healthy living.

Researchers suggest that lifestyle comes before diet

World renowned researchers like Bradley Appelhans of the Rush University Medical Center and Sherry Pagoto of the University of Massachusetts Medical have suggested an end to the diet debates that are so frequent in weight management circles. In their journals, they write that different diets are equally good as they are bad in helping one lose weight. They support their case that lifestyle changes can collectively handle diet and other aspects of healthy living.

Nutritionists’ case studies

In support of the case of lifestyle over diet, many nutritionists have indicated instances when some of their clients have tried different diets but fallen over the wagon. The result of such failure is discouragement and frustration. Pro-lifestyle nutritionists are more concerned with helping a client develop a plan that they can follow while they make new lifestyles changes. They note that the greatest problem associated with weight and health management is adherence.

Effective lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes such as exercise, positive thinking, keeping food records and focusing on progress rather than perfection are the ultimate solution to health management. If one is able to make and enhance these lifestyle changes, it becomes very easy to follow diet plans that help them to achieve the overall objective of health management.

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Terrine Pearsall

The Benefits of Eating Six Small Meals Each Day

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Starving yourself is not a healthy way to restrict how many calories you consume. Research now shows that eating 6 smaller meals a day can help you achieve your summer weight loss goals, as opposed to the traditional thinking that 3 complete meals a day is best. You can seriously put your health at risk if you limit your calorie consumption too drastically.

More and more people are victims of a “roller coaster diet” while trying to lose weight. Diet plans that restrict your calories decrease your body’s metabolism, and as a result your body will experience starvation. When this occurs, your body doesn’t use a lot of calories, and that leads to extreme hunger.eating

To increase your body’s metabolic rate, you should eat 5 or 6 smaller meals each day. Your metabolism will increase, and thus burn more calories all day long. You can further increase your metabolism by eating foods high in protein during your 6 meals.

Eating regularly will boost your metabolism due to the thermic effect of food.

You need a lot of calories to digest and absorb food, creating the thermic effect.

Different foods have different percentages of thermic effect, ranging from 3 to 30 percent. High protein foods have a 30 percent thermic effect. Some examples are turkey, salmon, and tuna. By simply digesting, 30 percent of the calories in these foods are burned. 20 percent of the calories found in fibrous and complex carbohydrates are burned during digestion. Some examples of these foods are corn, broccoli, green beans, and spinach. Foods with a very low thermic effect include refined carbohydrates and fats. This is the reason why dietary fat is stored so easily.

Your level of hunger will diminish while your energy level rises when you eat 5-6 smaller meals each day. You will also be able to maintain balanced blood sugar levels, which will help prevent hunger.

You can develop muscle to increase your metabolism. By eating regularly, you can maintain insulin levels which produce amino acids into your muscle’s cells, thus promoting muscle growth. Eating every 3 hours will yield a steady output of insulin. This is good for muscle growth and storing glycogen. As a result of eating healthy foods regularly, your summer weight loss goals will be easier to accomplish, and your body will be able to process vitamins and minerals more effectively.

The trick is to make sure you have a constant eating schedule. It might be difficult at first, but planning your meals will be well worth it. To prevent cravings and hunger, it’s good habit to feed your body foods that are rich in nutrients. A summer weight loss plan including a diet of healthy fats, vegetables, fruit, and lean protein is the best way to go. Eating such a diet with 5-6 meals each day can accelerate your muscle growth. It can increase your energy level, increase your metabolism, and you’ll burn half of the calories by eating regularly, and store very little fat.

Combine your diet with strength training and cardiovascular exercise to make it even more effective! Using these three methods, you’ll be on the fast track to burning fat and accomplishing your summer weight loss goals.

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Terrine Pearsall

The Importance of Good Eating Habits and How to Inculcate Them

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Eating right is the key to healthy living and good eating habits go a long way in improving our health and nourishing the body. A fit and active lifestyle demand right nutrition for the body to function. A good eating habit reduces our daily burden as it becomes a part of our routine and no extra efforts are needed to follow the habit.

The first step to developing good eating habits is to make sure that all meals are in sync with your body needs. An athletic lifestyle needs extra nutrition to support the muscles while a sedentary lifestyle can function with less calorie intake.eating

There are many ways to develop good eating habits which give the body adequate nutrition and energy. One way is to balance the meals in terms of nutrients. A good diet must include 45% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 35% fats. All these nutrients are necessary for the body and the lack of any one of them can harm the body in the long run.

The next way to develop good eating habits is to maintain a food diary. Recording our meals gives us an insight about how and what we are eating every day. It helps to reduce calories from the diet easily by cutting down on processed sugars and artificial foods.

Another easy way to make sure that the body gets complete nutrition is to include more greens in your diet. Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals and keep you full for longer. This reduces your cravings for sugar and fatty foods. One more approach towards healthy eating is to set a limit for yourself. Setting a calorie intake limit as per your body weight keeps us in control and reminds us of our goals. Choosing a smaller plate for eating your meals is proven to reduce the food intake drastically.

The last and the most important step towards good eating is to hydrate your body. Make it a habit of drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day. Set a reminder on your phone at intervals to remind you about water intake. Water aids in digestion and improves metabolism.

So these are the 5 ways to develop good eating habits for your body and health. Eating right and exercising regularly increase the immunity and endurance of the body. They also help to maintain your overall health and reduce the chances of many lifestyle-related diseases like stress and cardiac problems.

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Terrine Pearsall

Top 5 Foods That Combat Stress

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Nothing can ever replace the damage caused by stress to your body. Busy schedules, work deadlines, and other environmental factors promote stress and reduce the natural defenses of the body. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to combat stress. Healthy eating has a positive effect in reducing stress in a natural and effective way.

Here are top foods that combat stress.

stress1. Blueberries

Blueberries are a proven stress buster. It is crammed with antioxidants that revives and rejuvenates the damaged cells in the body and relieves stress. It neutralizes free radicals in the body and prevents cell damage. It also improves the body’s response to fight stress and anxiety. Besides, blueberries also improve immunity, which again, plays a vital role in reducing stress.

2. Dark chocolate

This could be an ultimate delight for chocolate lovers. Not all chocolates have the power to combat stress in an effective way, but the dark chocolate which has a relaxing effect on your body. Studies reveal that consumption of dark chocolate shows a reduction in cortisol- the stress hormone, thereby relieving stress. The cocoa has a high amount of antioxidant that lowers the blood pressure and relaxes the blood vessels. For a calming effect, go for chocolates that have over 70 % cocoa, says experts.

3. Avocados

If you are not trying to lose weight, avocados may prove to be beneficial for combating stress. The creamy fruit contains glutathione that blocks the absorption of fats responsible for the oxidative damage. The fruit also increases satiety and you feel more satisfied. This reduces stress and promotes a better health. Since it is high in fats, consider limiting your intake by adding just half an avocado in your lunch.

4. Cashews

Nuts have always been a great snack, but cashews have an added advantage. The crunchy nut is packed with proteins and omega-3s that reduce cravings and make you feel full. They are rich in zinc that helps in preventing stress. Zinc deficiency is one of the major causes of stress and anxiety. So, replenishing your zinc stores may help in preventing stress altogether. Having a few every day may seem beneficial for anyone. Besides, they can also be a great snack for those trying to lose weight due to its high protein content.

5. Salmon

Eating salmon has many heath benefits, the major being stress relief. The fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acid which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Studies show that it helps in reducing the stress hormone cortisol as well as adrenaline and induces a calming effect. People who consume salmon on a regular basis have shown a reduced level of stress as compared to those who do not. In addition to it, salmon is also a great food for your heart.

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Terrine Pearsall

Why Sleep Is Essential For Our Health

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In today’s modern society, there are lots of things to do that causes we always come to feel we do not have sufficient time to complete everything. It is not unusual for many individuals to go to bed until midnight and then wake up too early every day to fit in everything. You may think that it is not such a negative thing. Ok, now let us take a peek at the significance of having a quality sleep for our overall health.

Numerous aspects of sleep are still undiscovered at present, even though experts have been engaged in many different scientific studies for decades. Clearly, sleep has long been a mystery. Even so, there are a few facts to convince you that sleep is an important activity.sleep

Simply have a look at a young child. When it happens to be the time for him/her to take a nap, soon you will have to deal with problems since the child will start conducting unpleasant things. Having said that, after getting a short nap, he/she will get back to be fun again. In reality, the same also happens for older people when they have sleep deprivation. Needless to say, they will not exhibit the same responses as toddlers will do, but similar things truly happen.

Some processes take place during sleep. A bodily chemical that influences growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans is issued while you are getting a good sleep. This hormone is very essential during the growth period of children. This clarifies the reason babies require sleep so many hours every day. HGH, or human growth hormone, is at the same time used for restoration of tissue structure that is the reason older people need eight hours of sleep every night for their bodies to get the rest they need to repair and re-energize.

Besides issuing HGH, while sleeping other important processes also take place. A system that protects against disease, for example, is affected by the quality of your sleep. Simply put, the body’s defense mechanism will not function normally in case you have sleep deprivation. It has also been known that acquiring a sufficient amount of sleep is important for an individual who wants to manage his weight.

In essence, the significance of sleep cannot be emphasized enough. Lack of sleep has unwanted side effects on your physical and mental condition such as finding it hard to concentrate and to make reasonable judgments. This can put you into a dangerous situation, especially when you must react to something extremely fast.

As just stated, sleep can be viewed as-as an activity for developing and rebuilding. It is needed to regain the energy that has been worn out all day. If you have quality, sound sleep, you will acquire an adequate amount of energy to carry out the new day’s tasks. Even so, bear in mind that the amount of sleep you must have may be not equal with others. Just make sure you always get the full amount of sleep required. If not, your system will begin asking for it.

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“Losing Weight? – Go Herbal”

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These days, there is a great need for over weight Americans to lose those excess pounds. Being healthy would not only lead them to have a healthier lifestyle but it will also literally lighten their load, and improve their overall well-being.

There is a long list of dieting options available. There are exercise programs, exercise machines, dietary supplements, dietary food and drinks, diet pills – there are even soaps which claim to help you lose pounds while you bathe.weight

One other available option to shed off those unwanted pounds is to go herbal.

Herbal weight loss products have been in great demand for people who want to lose weight the natural way. However, when you take herbal supplements to lose weight, you would have to wait for a longer time for the results because of the more subtle effects of medicines which came from plants and natural herbs.

Here are some herbal weight loss options that you might want to consider:

1. Herbal weight loss products

There are a lot of herbal weight loss products available in the market now. You can check out the Internet and you will find a lot of herbal weight loss pills and products.

Be careful, however, as there are some products which claim to be safe and natural because they are herbal, but some actually have side effects because of non-extensive research on the effects of these products.

Here are some ingredients and chemicals which make up some herbal weight loss products that you should watch out for, as they might have harmful effects to your health:

Senna. This is an herbal laxative. Senna is a main ingredient in weight loss teas, and it works by stimulation the colon. The downside effect of this herb is dehydration. It can also lead to colon problems and can become addictive. Some people, when addicted, are unable to perform bowel movements without it, so watch out.

Chromium picolinate. This is a synthetic compound found in herbal weight loss products. Chromium is a nutrient which helps regulate blood-sugar level. However, this ingredient, when taken in high doses, may cause damage in the chromosomes. It can also lead to dehydration.

St. John’s wort. This supplement increases the production of a chemical in the brain. If not used properly, it may cause eye and skin sensitivity, mild gastrointestinal distress, fatigue and itching.

Although a lot of herbal products claim to be safe and natural, it is better to scrutinize the ingredients and research about the effects of the product itself before going for these herbal dietary pills.

2. Organic food.

In Wichita, Kansas, organic food has found its way to more homes and restaurants. Organic food devotees believe that consuming organic goodies help their bodies as well as the environment.

A person who buys organically raised eggs and vegetables claim to be healthier, and they are not spending money on doctors and prescriptions as these keep them healthier and away from the hospital. This could also be an option for weight watchers, as organic food is known to be kinder to your weight than chemically-processed food products.

3. Green Tea.

Studies show that intake of green tea, or green tea extracts burns extra calories. Also, green tea with caffeine can increase fat burning by up to 40% thereby reducing fat.

This is one good option for those who want to lose weight. In a study done, people who took green tea were found to lose 2 to 3 times more weight than those who did not drink green tea.

These results show that green tea is a natural product for the treatment of obesity. Thus, it also makes for a healthier dietary option, not to mention the good effects that it has on the body as compared to caffeine. A cup of tea gives an emmediate energy lift without the side effects of caffeine.

4. Caffeine.

Coffee provides an energy boost to increase fat burning. Caffeine also provides a likelihood to be active, which in turn increases your rate of calorie burn.

5. Immortality Herb

This herb, whose scientific name is Gymnostemna Pentaphyllum, is known to have the following benefits:

increases healthy blood flow
reduces artery blocks
aids healthy blood pressure
increases the rate of fat burning

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

There are pills and food supplements whose main ingredient is apple cider vinegar. Here are the benefits of taking this herbal option:

weight loss
improved cholesterol level
improved high blood pressure
helps prevent rheumatoid arthritis

 

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10 Steps To Detoxification in a Technology-fueled World

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Technology. We live in a grand time of technological development. Computers, the Internet, cell phones, digital cameras and DVDs. But the human body has not ‘kept up’ with technology. Human beings certainly shouldn’t eat technology! But that is happening today as a result of the onslaught of chemicals in our foods and environments, and with the impending threat of chemical warfare.

This very second, your physical body is mysteriously functioning internally exactly the way human bodies functioned 10,000 years ago. Because our bodies today are the same as in the past, it is critical to eat, drink, and live the same as in years past – centuries past. But modern societies are adopting one of the most unnatural lifestyles known to mankind. Cancer rates and cardiovascular disease in the United States alone are among the highest in the world as a result of technology interfering with our food supply and living environments.

technology

SO WHY DETOX?

Have you ever washed greasy dishes without hot water or dish soap? The dishes don’t get clean, do they? When toxic metals and chemical food additives get inside your body, it takes a strong “cleanser” to scrub your body clean from the inside out. The combination of vitamins and minerals through detoxification work in this fashion to remove toxins from your body tissues and body organs, from your water stores, fat deposits, and within your bloodstream. Natural cleansing is critical to remove body toxins, and protects from re-depositing them somewhere else in the body.
Toxins such as lead, mercury, and the side effects of aspartame’s by-products of formic acid and formaldehyde, block nutrients from getting into normal body cells in the same fashion a lead shield blocks radiation during an x-ray.

If toxins are present within your body, oxygen and the body’s “food supply” cannot get inside your cells to supply needed nutrients, nor can the cells’ waste products get out. Diseases, such as cancer, now have an environment in which to form. When these body toxins are removed, your body can then restore a healthy balance.

IDENTIFY, REMOVE, AND RESTORE

The basic philosophy behind any effective detox program is to identify, remove, and restore. Identify what toxins are at the root of your health problems.

Identify = hair analysis
Remove the toxins by cleansing your body.
Remove = detoxification
Restore lost nutrients.
Restore = nutritional supplements

Like pealing the layers off an onion, as each layer is removed through detoxification, the underlying layers reveal what’s really behind disease symptoms. The deeper you go toward removing the ‘core’ of the problem, healing becomes long-term reality.

TEN STEPS TO DETOXIFICATION

Begin with detoxing your body of all residual chemical toxins and see if any adverse health symptoms remain. Try these steps for yourself, and within 30 days your symptoms should improve if not completely disappear.

The Ten Steps:

Remove all chemicals from your diet.
Learn to ‘read’ your body. Begin recording any health changes.
Get a hair analysis.
Be happy with yourself.
Detoxify.
Restore depleted nutrients.
Exercise and get plenty of rest.
Eat 75% raw foods at every meal.
Drink water, water, water.
Get control of your life.

Do not overlook the fact that healing from disease and illness takes faith, personal strength, and perseverance. Curing illness and degenerative diseases with a mind-body approach might be considered old-fashioned and ineffective when compared to today’s high tech prescriptions, but it’s essential that human beings remember that the roots of disease and their cures are as old-fashioned as the body itself, and healing begins with SELF.

WHAT IS A HAIR ANALYSIS?

A hair analysis determines exactly what chemicals are inside of you, including radiation. Generic medical lab tests don’t identify deep tissue toxins nor nutrient depletion the same way a hair analysis does.

The protein in hair fiber holds the composition of the body tissues for a permanent period. By analyzing your hair fiber composition, you can tell what toxins have accumulated in the body tissues and what vitamins and minerals are depleted or too abundant causing imbalances in body function.

By detoxifying unnatural chemicals and by replacing specific vitamins individual to your needs, proper health can be restored using nutrition. The human hair analysis points out these levels, making the hair analysis the BEST tool out there.

The link below provides a sample hair analysis report of a twenty-year-old male toxic in mercury. Andy has been a vegetarian all of his life, and ate canned tuna most every day. His over-all toxins were low and his nutrients were fairly balanced, but his mercury level was dangerously high which, in turn, depleted his lithium stores. Lithium is a critical element that supports emotional and hormonal development.

Thinking he was on a ‘healthy’ diet, Andy would never have known the potential health dangers within his tissues and bloodstream without having a hair analysis performed. He is relieved to know he prevented future health problems, and now knows how to adjust his diet and supplement program to achieve optimum health.

Good nutrition works.

Take the time to determine at which point you may have gotten off track nutritionally and what ‘poisons’ you have been exposed to. Detox your body of all environmental and food chemicals you have been exposed to throughout your lifetime.

Restore depleted nutrients through proper supplements and whole foods.

Toxins are at the root of most diseases, and once they are removed, health and well being return. An effective detoxification plan removes the source of disease symptoms, such as aspartame or radiation poisoning, detoxifies toxic residue from the body, and replaces specific nutrients to regain a state of wellness.

Detoxing the body removes toxins from chemicals quickly and can actually remove most chemical toxins from your body tissues and body organs, from your water stores, and from fat stores within your bloodstream, along with assisting in the elimination of those toxins via the bowels and pores of the body.

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Organic Black Tea

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All tea leaves are green when harvested. High in the Himalayas, tea pickers are hard at work, plucking only young and the most flavorful leaves from the plant, called Camellia sinensis. Although tea plants flourish in tropical climate, the best organic black teas are those grown in high altitudes where the clouds and cool mountain air comfort the tea plant and moisturize its leaves.

After the tea leaves are picked, they are inspected and sorted and withered. All of this is done by hand. As water from the leaves evaporates, the natural process of fermentation begins to take place. Fermentation, also known as oxidation, is the reason why organic black tea is black.

tea

Unlike the fermentation done with wines, tea fermentation does not produce alcohol. Instead, enzymes naturally contained in the leaves are released, oxidizing the leaf in the process and turning it brown just like a tea leaf in the fall when it changes color from green to brown.

By increasing heat and high humidity in a process called firing (the leaves are exposed to high temperature over fire or commercial ovens), the fermentation of organic black tea accelerates. As a result of these conditions, it is only a matter of hours before green tea is turned to what is known as organic black tea.

There are several different types of organic black tea. They are called ‘organic’ because they were purely grown organically, without the use of chemical fertilizers or commercial pesticides. The types of organic black tea depend on the name of the region where the Camellia sinensis plant is grown. Below are the top three organic black tea, valued for their rich taste and color.

Keemun

Considered by most to be the finest of Chinese black teas, Keemun organic black tea is actually a style of tea rather than the name of a region. Keemun is grown in many regions of China and Taiwan. Because of its smooth taste and aromatic flavor, Keemun organic black tea is often referred to as the “Burgundy” of teas. Chinese Keemuns are especially rich and flavorful. Higher grades of Keemun are also sweet, fruity, and pleasantly full-bodied with a delicate smoky nuance.

Keemun is great by itself. But if you want a slightly different taste, the tea also goes well with a bit of milk and sugar.

Darjeeling

Named for the Darjeeling province in northeast India, this fine drink is another organic black tea worth trying. Often referred to as the “Champagne of teas,” Darjeeling is praised for its aroma and delicate flavor. Incidentally, the Darjeeling region also produces excellent green and oolong teas – both known for their delicate tastes. The organic black teas are delicately flavorful but still full-bodied and succulent with a wide range of flavors from floral to nutty and sometimes with subtle muscatel notes.

Lapsang Souchong

Another organic black tea from China and Taiwan, Lapsang Souchong is also a style of tea with an intensely strong smoky flavor that many find, if not particularly delicious, then intriguing. The flavor is produced by drying the leaves over a smoldering pine fire. This organic black tea is made from larger leaves that contain lower amounts of caffeine, making it a popular evening drink.

Lapsang Souchong is not for everyone’s palate. If you want to experiment a little with your organic black tea, try some and decide for yourself.

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Black Tea Health

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For thousands of years, the Chinese people have been drinking tea because of its refreshing and soothing effects. Like all three of the major Asian teas in the market, black tea comes from the plant called Camellia sinensis. But the difference between the tea types lies in how the leaves are processed, not on where they come from.

In the case of black tea, the leaves are first dried and then fermented. Black tea undergoes full oxidation, which actually accounts for its aromatic and rich taste. Compared to green tea and oolong or black dragon tea, black tea has a fuller taste and tastes better with age.

black tea

However, black tea is not only known for its intriguing flavor (comparable to wine!). New research suggests that it may be a major contributor of health-promoting nutrients in the U.S. diet.

Black tea health benefits lies in the presence of flavonoids in tea. Before, scientists believed that the process of fermentation changed the beneficial flavonoid polyphenol in black tea into another form, which is not thought to have any beneficial effects at all. However, newer studies showed that polyphenol or not, black tea health benefits can certainly do you a lot of good.

Below are the top five black tea health benefits enjoyed by those who love their cup of tea every morning:

Antioxidants

This is actually the one black tea health benefit you can get from drinking tea. Antioxidants are substances commonly found in vegetables, fruits, and beverages such as tea. Because of their disease-fighting abilities, antioxidants have been the subject of various scientific studies investigating their many benefits, from heart disease to cancer prevention.

Think of antioxidants as the rust-oleum paint that you put on your outdoor furniture to keep it from rusting. Just as oxygen in the air around us cause iron to rust, the oxygen particles in our blood can sometimes be destructive. In scientific circles, they call these highly reactive oxygen-containing substances as free radicals, and they are the reason why our body undergo massive cellular damage as we age or undergo degenerative diseases like cancer and heart illness.

The function of black tea health benefit antioxidants is to seek out these free radicals and destroy them. In so doing, these black tea health benefit antioxidants help protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

Caffeine

Unless you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur, one black tea health benefit that you would surely appreciate is its caffeine content. Black tea does the job that your coffee does – that is, to give you a little push as you wake up in the morning after pulling up an all-nighter. But while coffee has the unfortunate reputation of causing heart palpitations because of too much drinking (and hence, too much caffeine), your chance of suffering the same with drinking black tea is nil. That’s because black tea has two to three times less caffeine than coffee. An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg. caffeine, while black tea contains only 30 to 40 mg. per cup.

 

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Benefits of Black Tea

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Black tea is one of the most popular teas in the world. The English love it and use it as a constant ingredient in many of their breakfast teas. Black tea comes from the same plant that green tea, white, and oolong tea come from. But if you notice, black tea has a distinctively strong flavor and characteristically dark color. How is this so?

Well, you see, the main difference lies in how black tea is processed. While in making green tea, the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are first dried and then gently steamed, black tea leaves undergo far more processing steps.

black tea

First, the leaves are withered. Then, they are rolled around to release the beneficial polyphenols present in the leaves. Next, the leaves are left out in the open and exposed to heat and humidity to start the fermentation process. After full oxidation or fermentation is done, the leaves are then dried and packed.

All these processing methods actually account for the uniqueness of black tea. The taste may range from brisk to astringent to delicately fruity, flowery, or even smoky. Often, these differences can be ascertained from the growing regions where the black tea is produced. But regardless of taste, flavor, and color, the benefits of black tea remain constant.

For thousands of years, the Chinese (who are attributed to be the first tea drinkers) have been imbibing this drink for its many health benefits. Green tea, especially, with its refreshing delicate taste, is said to help in overcoming certain diseases from the simplest – e.g. headaches, stomach pains, etc. – to the complex – e.g. heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc.

Scientists believed that the reason green tea is more beneficial compared to other teas is that the leaves never undergo full oxidation. Because of this, the polyphenols, especially the polyphenol ECGG, remain intact and potent against disease-causing free radicals in the human body. However, more recent studies have shown that while it’s true that full oxidation does break down ECGG, the benefits of black tea are hardly hinged on the present of that chemical compound.

Researchers found that the benefits of black tea are directly associated with certain chemical compounds that give black tea its characteristic fruity flavor and dark color. These compounds, called theaflavins and theaburigins are polyphenols with antioxidant properties that can help rid the body of harmful free radicals.

In a study done at the American Heart Association in New Orleans, researchers also found that the benefits of black tea may include lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to their findings, certain compounds found in black tea help relax and expand the arteries, thus increasing blood flow to the heart and minimizing clogging of the arteries. The eight-week study on the benefits of black tea involved 50 men and women with coronary artery disease. They drank four cups of either water or tea a day for four weeks. The result was that the group who drank black tea produced more nitric oxide – the chemical released by the body that causes the artery to dilate – which accounted for their arteries to dilate normally.

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Chinese Diet Teas: Are They Safe?

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Chinese teas have long been considered great for dieters.  In fact, many companies have manufactured and distributed these products labeled “Chinese diet tea” for those who wish to lose weight.  Perhaps the main reason for this production is that many believed that tea by itself carries only 4 calories per serving, and the caffeine in tea is potent enough to increase body function to help burn more calories.

Also, it is believed that the polyphenols in tea seem to aid in the digestion of fat, truly making it a Chinese diet tea.

chinese diet tea

Chinese diet tea, fasting tea, slimming tea, super dieter’s tea, weight loss tea, although they come with somewhat different names, all promote a common message – drink this tea and you will lose weight.  However, many experts noted that what you are actually drinking from these products is a plant based laxative that can cause certain disorders like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fainting, chronic constipation and perhaps even death when consumed in excessive amounts.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) once stressed that the laxative teas and dietary supplements of most concern are those containing one or more of the substances, such as aloe, senna, rhubarb root, buckthorn, castor oil, and cascara.  These products are derived from plants and have been used since time immemorial for their ability to relieve constipation and promote bowel movements.   They are deemed effective for such purposes with occasional use.

When the labeled “Chinese diet teas” are excessively used based on the misconception that frequent bowel movements prevent the absorption of calories that problems tend to occur.  Numerous studies have shown that the laxative-induced diarrhea does not significantly reduce absorption of calories for the reason that laxatives don’t work in the small intestine, where the calories are absorbed.  It rather works on the colon, which is the lower end of the bowel.

Also found out is that when the Chinese diet teas are misused by steeping the tea longer than product labeling recommends can lead to short as well as long term adverse condition.  This is also true when the Chinese diet teas are taken more than the recommended amount.

It has been noted that for those first-time users who drank Chinese diet teas more than the recommended amount, stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea are the common disorders to occur and will last for several days.  When these laxatives are used continually, laxative dependency will tend to develop with bouts of chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain as well as constipation.

In the most severe cases, these laxatives can cause fainting, dehydration and serious electrolyte disorders.   As noted, these after-effects of excessive use of Chinese diet teas are most likely to develop in people who are nutritionally compromised due to rigorous weight-loss dieting.

Because of these concerns, the FDA is now considering requiring the manufacturers of labeled “Chinese diet teas” to place warning labels on all of their product stimulant laxatives.  It is also important that those who are using Chinese diet teas for any purpose must read and follow the recommended directions carefully.    The words indicated on the label under “warning” must then be given attention.

 

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